During pregnancy, the body changes. A new life is growing. The new circumstances often mean stress for expectant mothers. Yoga brings body, mind and soul into harmony. The right exercises can also help you get to know your own body better and prepare for the birth.
Before you start pregnancy yoga, you should definitely talk to your doctor or midwife first. Every pregnancy is different and therefore yoga can or can not be practiced with a baby bump.
People who have not practiced yoga before pregnancy are generally believed to not start yoga exercises for pregnant women until the second trimester. In contrast to "normal" yoga, the asanas and pranayamas should be adapted to the new situation.
For example, it is advisable to simply let the breath flow during practice. You should avoid intensive breathing techniques that mean a strong intervention in the natural breath. As a pregnant woman, you should definitely refrain from exercises in the prone position, as well as from intensive inverted postures and strong backbends. Asanas performed on the back or side are fine.
Yoga for early and pregnant women: advantages
Sleep disorders, back pain, inner restlessness: Depending on the week of pregnancy, pregnancy problems can be prevented with the help of physical practice, meditation and breathing exercises. In the first trimester, for example, it can be about strengthening security and trust in the body. In early pregnancy, you can learn how to gain more self-confidence with the help of yoga.
In the second trimester, the belly gets bigger and more visible, then it's all about finding your own balance. With the help of pregnancy yoga you strengthen the relationship with your body and especially with your growing baby. You can also specifically strengthen your back and pelvic floor.
In the third trimester, birth is getting closer and closer. With the help of pregnancy yoga, you can manage to curb fears and stress and use meditation and breathing exercises to ensure more serenity and moments of rest.
You should keep this in mind when doing yoga during pregnancy
There are a few things to consider when it comes to pregnancy yoga. If you have no experience with yoga exercises, breathing techniques and meditation, it may be advisable to take part in a yoga class that is specifically designed for yoga during pregnancy. It is also advisable to consult the midwife or gynecologist.
The exercises should best be tailored to the respective trimester and to the respective physical condition. So be aware of your limits. Be careful not to overexert yourself. Your muscles, ligaments, and tendons will weaken as your pregnancy progresses, so be careful not to overstretch your body. Perform all exercises slowly, gently and mindfully. Focus on asanas that strengthen your back and provide enough stability when practicing.
Yoga exercises for pregnant women
If you have practiced yoga before pregnancy, you can also practice asanas in early pregnancy. In the first trimester, light yoga exercises are recommended, as well as gentle breathing and meditation techniques. The following exercises are also suitable for the second and third trimester:
- Cat-Cow: relaxes shoulder and neck muscles
- Tree: ensures balance and concentration
- Meditation seat: ensures an upright posture
Back problems are a well-known problem in pregnancy. From the fourth month, it is particularly recommended to strengthen the back muscles, because the back bears a large part of the weight of the growing belly. The following exercises are suitable for this:
- Warrior 2: ensures stability in the trunk and strengthens the thighs
- Shoulder bridge: strengthens pelvis and hips
In the third trimester, standing exercises and meditations with affirmations that mentally prepare for the upcoming birth are particularly useful.
- Malasana (the deep squat): opens the pelvic area, promotes blood circulation
- Utkatasana (chair): strengthens the back, upper body and knees
You need this for pregnancy yoga at home:
Set up a yoga spot in a quiet room with your yoga mat. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes when practicing. At OGNX you will find a large selection of sustainable leggings, trousers and tops that optimally adapt to your practice. When practicing, supporting utensils such as yoga blocks, a yoga belt or a yoga bolster can be helpful to make the asanas more comfortable and to adapt them individually.
You can decide individually whether you do yoga daily or only once a week during pregnancy. You can also adapt the length of your yoga session to your personal needs as the baby bump grows. Always remember that you are not only practicing for yourself, but also for your baby. Depending on the time of day, different exercise sequences are recommended. During the day or in the morning, exercises with an energizing effect are more suitable, in the evening more relaxing, regenerative exercises.
Breathing during pregnancy yoga exercises
Breathing supplies our body with oxygen. During pregnancy, the body works at full capacity and must therefore be supplied with energy. The right breathing techniques from yoga can help you to provide yourself and your growing baby with enough oxygen.
Conscious breathing can be helpful during birth. Breathing exercises help to reduce stress, let go of fears and worries, to be in the here and now, to feel yourself and to regulate hormone levels. Targeted breathing exercises can also help reduce contractions and the overall length of labour.
Pregnant women can learn to breathe consciously. This works best with full yoga breathing or 360-degree breathing. This is a pranayama entry technique to get a first feeling for your own breath. Full yogic breathing sensitizes you to the three breathing spaces collarbones, chest, abdomen. To be even more aware of breathing, you can place one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your heart.
Pregnancy yoga helps expectant mothers deal with the changes in their bodies and in life. With yoga exercises adapted to the new circumstances, the special time from early pregnancy to birth can be accompanied - preferably in consultation with the gynecologist or midwife. All in all, yoga exercises for pregnant women ensure more calm, serenity and self-confidence.